ARLINGTON, Tex. - Howie Kendrick has been out of the Phillies' lineup for more than a month with an abdominal strain. Manager Pete Mackanin hopes to have Kendrick back in a week or so, but the injury has been so stubborn that Kendrick is unable to say for sure when he'll return.
"I'm never going to put a date on it because I know these injuries are strange, man," Kendrick said. "It's getting better, but it stinks. You go two steps forward and you have the slightest thing set you back. I mean, I think that's the most frustrating part about it. I want to play. I want to be back out there, but right now I can only work with what I've got. I can't put a date on it for you. I'd love to because I want to play. But it's not like I can make it get better any quicker."
Kendrick said he felt some soreness after the flight from Washington to Dallas late Sunday night. He felt good enough to take some groundballs before Wednesday night's game. If he feels good the next few days, he could take some batting practice over the weekend in Pittsburgh.
Kendrick was the Phillies' opening day leftfielder. He hit .333 (13 for 39) with five extra-base hits and five RBIs before suffering the injury on April 15.
Kendrick's trip to the disabled list has allowed more playing time for Aaron Altherr and he has responded. He came into Wednesday night's game hitting .318 with eight homers and 22 RBIs. Mackanin will have to get creative with the lineup when Kendrick returns, but Altherr will continue to play. Altherr can play all three outfield positions and Kendrick can get time at first base.